Haricot Verts with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

haricot verts with mushrooms and caramelized onions | jessicagavin.com

I’m in need of some fresh vegetables in my life, because yes I’m still recovering from the holiday feasts. Have you met the string beans french cousin haricot verts? Kinda like the new hot foreign exchange student in high school, these long, slender and crisp beauties are a little more sleek and sexy than your typical bean. These haricot verts with mushrooms and caramelized onions will steal the dinnertime show!… 

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Delicious Harvest Apple Cookies Recipe

Delicious Harvest Apple Cookies Recipe | jessicagavin.com

I am not quite willing to quit the December cookie season yet, so what’s a girl to do? I saw this amazing peanut butter apple oatmeal cookie recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod one morning as I was sifting through my emails. Needless to say I could not stop drooling!

I was literally so inspired to the point that I had to make the cookies that same day, immediately, like right now (thanks Maria!). I also had a long night of wake up calls from my boss – baby James, so I needed a little sugar in my life.

Luckily I had all the ingredients in my pantry and then some, whoot! So I was on my way to make some glorious fresh baked harvest apple cookies… oh yeah!… 

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Herb Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage

Herb Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage Bites | jessicagavin.com

Wow, do you feel like the holidays came in and went like a hurricane? or more like Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball? (I had to go there) My house certainly looks like a Tasmanian devil ripped through it leaving no prisoners, just lot’s of torn up wrapping paper and dried up pine needles. This year was intense and fun time for the Gavin Family, we hosted our first big Thanksgiving and Christmas party for our family and friends and I was firing on all cylinders trying to pump out all that food. Now I’m beat! Although no matter how exhausted I am from shopping, cooking and feasting, I get really excited about the coming of a brand spanking new, shiny, new car smelling year!

I always look forward to New Years festivities because it gives everyone a fresh start. You get a chance to erase all those lines you made on your life’s big Magna Doodle and start a blank page. As you get ready to give one last hearty festive push for a reason to party hardy, you definitely don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen the entire time while your guests get ready to count down with Ryan Seacrest. For your most amazing New Years bash, how about a quick, simple and delicious herb stuffed mushrooms with sausage recipe for an appetizer? I’m in! … 

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Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables

Delicious Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Do you find yourself having a Rachel Ray moment? You know, noodling around to figure out how you can make a quick meal in 30 minutes or less on any given weekday? Sunday mornings are typically when I navigate through the super market aisles in search for my weekday meal inspiration. I want to be able to make Jason and I something healthy, flavorful and fast. Sounds like a wish I would make with a magical genie!

We are all strapped for time during the week, speeding through dinner so we can spend those extra minutes relaxing, or for me, snuggling with baby James. So I dug deep into those foggy memory banks from culinary school and had an Aha moment… salmon en papillote! Huh? What the heck is papillote? That’s just a fancy way to say “in parchment” in French, but it sounds much more impressive and romantic in the language of love, so why not! So lets get going, we only have 30 minutes remember?… 

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Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Vanilla shortbread cookies with a hot cup of tea | jessicagavin.com

Once the tryptophan induced coma from turkey day subsides, December seems to be a month long celebration to honor the endless possibilities of the cookie. Pinwheels, snickerdoodles, peanut butter kisses, gingerbread… Oh my! I’m not complaining, quite the opposite, I’m embracing and indulging. Even though there are so many great cookie options out there, I’m a big fan of simplicity.

One of my favorite cookies to make during the holidays are vanilla shortbread cookies. Some years ago, after an incredible experience dining at the French Laundry, they sent us home with a small silver box filled with perfect rectangular shaped shortbread cookies dusted with just a hint of sugar. They crumble delicately while melting in your mouth with each bite, and they have just the right hint of sweetness. I was searching through my Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and found the recipe for those very same shortbread cookies, whoot! You bet I immediately scavenged through my fridge and pantry to see if I could quickly make a batch. With only 4 ingredients, these are the easiest and tastiest vanilla shortbread cookies you will ever find!… 

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Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pie Jars

Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pie Jars | jessicagavin.com

Good things come in small packages right? Especially the yummy ones! I’m a sucker for all things mini, especially if it’s individual servings of dessert so I don’t have to share, muahaha. Apple pie is such a classic treat that you can really enjoy it all year round. It’s just that in the fall you have more choices on the varieties. I like the idea of making little servings of apple pie so that it’s faster to bake and enjoy! Sweet crisp apples, luscious salted caramel sauce and flaky tender pie crust makes for the ultimate dessert, mini salted caramel apple pie jars. Ooohh you are going to be HAPPY to have one of these warm out of the oven!… 

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Easy Whipped Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Whipped mashed potatoes with onion topping | jessicagavin.com #recipe

Have you noticed that potatoes always gets a bad rap until the holidays roll around? I know, those poor delicious carbs, it’s just not fair! To make up for this injustice, I think a recipe for fluffy, creamy, buttery whipped mashed potatoes are in order. Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest dishes to make, however there are many ways to make them. The good new is, I’ve found a method that I really like for the silkiest and most flavorful spuds which I want to share you!… 

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon recipe | jessicagavin.com

Brussels sprouts, love them or hate them? Sometimes just hearing those two words can make you cringe, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It seems that many kids and adults have taste aversion when they hear that those adorable baby cabbage looking veggies will be served on the menu. However, have you noticed that lately they have become sort of cool? I’ve been seeing recipes for Brussels Sprouts pop up for them all over the internet, they are crying out to be eaten and respected and I think it’s because chefs have finally figured out how to make them taste good!

I remember being a curious little girl at the grocery store and when no one was looking, I grabbed one little sprout, for some reason it looked so cute, like a mini head of cabbage. I took one sniff and thought, not bad. I took a small bite from the raw veggie and spit it out immediately! Ewww, what was I thinking! The sprout was tough and tasted bitter, I was not a fan.  I honestly don’t think I have had any desire to make a Brussels sprout dish since then. Fast forward a couple years, when I was in culinary school my chef instructor showed us how to properly cook and flavor these unappreciated yet healthy veggies. Let me show you what I did to make a flavorful and surprisingly satisfying sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon recipe…. 

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with Pecan Topping | jessicagavin.com

Whoo hoo! My hands down favorite holiday is almost here, Thanksgiving! It’s all about the food, football, wearing pants that stretch and getting that food coma “glow” with family and friends, it’s the best. There’s also no better time to turn a starchy sweet root vegetable into a dessert masked as a side dish. Those bright sunny orange fleshed sweet potatoes (also known as yams in North America, but that just doesn’t sound as yummy) are pretty amazing to eat just simply roasted or steamed. They have this incredible natural sweetness, yet are packed with healthy vitamins like beta carotene and dietary fiber. What’s not to like about a carb that tastes good and is healthier for you? I wanted to get a little more creative with my holiday sweet potato casserole recipe this year, oh man it’s addicting… I could’t stop sneaking bites!… 

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Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Best Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe | jessicagavin.com #food #pumpkinpie

To kick off the month of November right and get us excited for thanksgiving, nothing screams holidays like a freshly baked pie. My house has been completely scented with the smell of sweet spices, bubbling sugars and baked butter crusts, and I’m not complaining (well maybe just my waistline). I really wanted to find a rock star classic pumpkin pie recipe so that I could always have an ace in my pocket for holiday gatherings. Pumpkin pies are one of the staple items people have come to expect on the dessert table. Without it you feel like something’s just not right. It’s a tall order because if you are making the pie, there are expectations, so you gotta nail the recipe. Wanna learn how?… 

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